16 judges, 1 Sandiganbayan justice dismissed as SC cleans up ranks

MANILA — In line with efforts to rid its ranks of scalawags, the Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed 16 judges and one Sandiganbayan justice for committing acts unbecoming officers of the judiciary branch.

In her speech during the 68th inaugural meeting of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) in Makati City, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said that from 2012 to 2016, the court has worked aggressively in exercising its disciplinary powers which resulted to the dismissal of 16 judges and one Sandiganbayan justice. The benefits of these erring court officials were also ordered forfeited.

In the same period, the SC also suspended 14 judges, fined 101, reprimanded 21 and admonished 31.

Sereno said for lower court employees, the court also dismissed 116; admonished 42; forfeited benefits of 35; censured 3; fined 240; reprimanded 221; and suspended 227 since 2010.

As of September 2016, she noted the court has also disbarred 4,031 lawyers; suspended 224,194 from the practice of law; suspended 330 from the practice of law and notarial practice; suspended 118 from notarial practice; reprimanded 3,832; fined and reprimanded three; admonished 860; censured 32; warned 86; fined and warned 33,813; ordered arrested 186; and one has dropped and stricken off the roll of attorneys for a total of 803,716 penalized lawyers since 2012.

”We are also aware that our reform initiatives will not take flight unless we address issues of corruption and other forms of misconduct. It is a complex problem that which has to be confronted through a variety of independent initiatives to strengthen integrity and prevent opportunities for corruption among members of the Judiciary,” Sereno said. PNA-northboundasia.com